Three security guards were killed by four gunmen who stormed a five-star hotel in the port city of Gwadar on the south-western coast of Pakistan’s Baluchistan province on Saturday afternoon.
The gunmen wearing the uniform of security guards entered the Pearl Continental Hotel, above (photo credit: Radio Pakistan), and killed the three who tried to stop them. They then took a few hotel employees hostage and went up the stairs firing indiscriminately.
The assailants were planning to massacre Chinese guests who frequent the hotel located close to the Gwadar port which is being developed with the help of Beijing.
Gwadar lies at the heart of $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
The Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA) claimed responsibility for the attack which took place around 4.50pm local time.
BLA and the locals believe Chinese investments are not going to benefit locals in a region which is the poorest and most neglected in the country.
No foreigners were staying as guests in the hotel during the attack, the government said, adding that other guests staying there were safely evacuated.
Security forces were trying to flush out the gunmen cornered on the staircase leading to the top floor of the hotel.
While some sources said exchange of fire was still going on between the security forces and the four assailants, AP news agency said all the four gunmen were shot and killed.
The attack comes weeks after gunmen killed 14 people, including 11 security personnel, near Ormara in Gwadar.
Baluchistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani condemned the terrorist attack.
Police said the terrorists may have come by boat to launch the attack.
Baluchistan province is rife with ethnic, sectarian and separatist violence.